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It's a whole new Steve Garvey if he has Ron Burkle in his group to buy Dodgers

April 22, 2011 | 10:18 pm

Photo: Billionaire Ron Burkle. Credit: Andrew McPherson. It’s getting so hard to trust your employees these days. One minute they’re saluting, the next leading the palace revolt.

Steve Garvey is currently in the employ of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, working as a member of his marketing and communications department. Mostly he makes appearances at community and corporate functions.

Garvey, however, has bigger things on his Dodgers mind than acting like some Las Vegas greeter. He has the biggest of things. He has the whole thing.

Photo: Former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey. Credit: Los Angeles Times.Garvey has said he has put together a group that wants to buy the Dodgers, which is curious on three levels: 1) His own sketchy financial past; 2) He currently works for McCourt; 3) The Dodgers are not for sale.

The last probably requires the addendum, "not yet anyway.''

Major League Baseball taking control of the Dodgers away from the financially strapped McCourt has everyone assuming -- hoping -- this will lead to their sale.

And Garvey wants in. Now at first blush it might be easy to dismiss this. Garvey has had serious financial problems in the past. And he’s been talking about having a group to buy some baseball team for more than 20 years.

He had a group that wanted to purchase the Padres in 1986  -- while he was still their first baseman. The next year he said that group, minus himself, was interested in buying the Seattle Mariners. It got to the point where Commissioner Bart Giamatti had to ask him to zip it.

Now, though, comes a bit of news that could alter the entire Garvey-wants-to-buy-a-team-again routine. The Times’ Bill Shaikin reports that Garvey has teamed up with billionaire Ron Burkle in an investment group that would like to purchase the Dodgers.

This, is they say, is a game-changer. Burkle is reportedly worth more than $3 billion, which would immediately put him at the head of the list of potential owners with serious moola. Not that he’d be alone. Shaikin said billionaires Alan Casden and Alec Gores are also preparing bids.

They don’t, of course, have one of the most popular Dodgers of all-time heading their group. Not that we know of, anyway.

Garvey told Shaikin he would be the managing general partner of his group, otherwise known as the guy who runs the team. Then he might get a little more choosey about where to make those public appearances.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photos: (Top) Billionaire Ron Burkle. Credit: Andrew McPherson. (Bottom) Former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey. Credit: Los Angeles Times.